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Canvas - Indicating Language in Canvas

Using language tags in your HTML content in Canvas ensures that screen readers will pronounce the words properly, which is critical for correct interpretation of foreign language content. Watch this video of a screen reader pronouncing various Asian languages with and without language attributes to see the impact of correctly tagging content.

This tutorial will walk you through the process of adding language attributes to your content.

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Access your content in the Rich Content Editor (RCE), and select HTML Editor in the RCE toolbar.


Find the specific phrase that is in a different language, and type “<span lang=“xx”>” immediately before it. Replace “xx” with your particular language code listed below. This example is using “es” for the Spanish language code.

  • Chinese: “zh”
  • French: “fr”
  • German: “de”
  • Italian: “it”
  • Japanese: “ja”
  • Korean: “ko”
  • Russian: “ru”
  • Spanish: “es”

Use the language code list for languages not listed here


Go to the end of the phrase and type “</span>”.

Everything outside of the opening and closing <span> tags will be pronounced in an English manner; everything inside them will be pronounced according to the language specified.